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Season of the Witch #1

Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2005
By: Michael Bailey



"Spring"


Writer: Jai Nitz
Artist: Kevin Sharpe

Publisher: Image Comics


Plot: Jessica Suddreth's life is an unhappy one. She is disliked and picked on at school. Her parents don't seem to care for her, and her only enjoyment comes from flying her kite. Jessica's life is turned upside down when she finds herself magically transported to the village of Asamando, where she learns that her destiny is to become the Spell Sword, a champion against the evil King Ellan.

Commentary: Man, I liked this book better when it was called Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld.

This wasn't a terrible comic. It really wasn't. The writer is very good and has a strong sense of character and plot. The problem is that the concept of the story is so clichéd that it makes the eyes roll and the interest plummet. The Amethyst comparison may have been a cheap shot and an attempt to elicit a quick laugh, but it isn't far off. The high concept pitch of this book must have been, "It's Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Amethyst with a good bit of Fables added in for good measure." Separately these are great stories; together they made for a formulaic mish mash of a comic.

Despite Bruce Jones' praise for Jai Nitz on the cover, I was really underwhelmed by this first issue. I get the feeling from reading this book that Nitz wants us to know how many books he's read and what kind of authors he's into. The William S. Burroughs High School reference was really weak and while it was kind of cool to have characters from all kinds of fairy tales, both modern and classic mentioned it all seems forced, as was Mazzul, the Ultimate Squirrel. Nitz tried to play this off as cool, but it came off as kind of silly.

I really didn't feel much for Jessica either. Nitz went a little overboard in making her life as bad as it was. This is just a personal opinion, mind you, but a terrible school life coupled with a gay father and unavailable mother (who are cheating on each other, by the way) is a bit much. I got the point that her life was bad within the first two pages. Nitz didn't have to beat me over the head with the sad sate of Jessica's life.

In The End: This book was just as bad as I thought it was going to be. I'm sure there is an audience for this material, but it is clear that I am not it.



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